Most of us are familiar with the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That sentiment still holds true, particularly when it comes to digital content. According to technology publication Gitnux, visual assets in content including images, videos and infographics get 40X more shares compared to text-only content.
We’re not bashing text, but in an era where the average person encounters between 4-10 thousand ads every single day, visuals are powerful – even crucial – tools that help your message get noticed. Quality visuals in marketing and communication materials have a track record of improving performance. They increase engagement, get people to click on your emails, are shared more widely and often, and can even go viral.
At Ashworth Creative, we’re acutely aware of the power of a picture (or video or infographic). We know that in the digital landscape, in particular, the right visuals are often the only way to make your brand stand out. By leveraging high-quality and exceptional images and graphics, we craft a visual narrative for brands – one that encapsulates a company’s ethos, message, and distinct identity. Below, we unpack five compelling reasons to use visuals in your marketing and communications content.
5 Reasons to use visuals in marketing
1. Visuals increase engagement and conversion
According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, 90% of the information processed by our brains is visual. Humans are biologically wired to process visual information more easily than text or speech – and this includes ad content.
This makes visual content an impactful tool that marketers can use as they seek meaningful ways to engage with consumers. A perfect example of this is video, which often leads to greater conversions for eCommerce brands. Watching a product video increases the likelihood of purchase from viewers by up to 85%. Video is also important for search engine rankings – for example, a video thumbnail appears in about 26% of search results.
2. Consistent, high-quality visuals improve brand recognition
In the digital age, where content is as common as air, brands often grapple with establishing and sustaining their market presence. There are some best practices we recommend (and use) to help ensure our clients’ visuals are effective, high quality, and on brand. They include:
- Be consistent – Using consistent visual elements like logos, color schemes, and fonts is absolutely foundational when developing a strong look and feel for your brand.
- Create a style guide – Creating a style guide ensures all elements of your brand like your logo, fonts, and images are used correctly wherever deployed (e.g., social media, your letterhead, the annual report, etc.) If you get stuck on this step, don’t worry. An experienced design firm can help you best leverage your branding toolkit by working with you to create a style guide.
- Learn from the leaders – There’s a lot you can learn from top brands like Apple, Toyota, and Nike. These are all companies whose products are practically interchangeable with their brands. Think of memorable brands that you admire and why. Can your target audience(s) easily recognize your brand?
Actively thinking about opportunities you have to more consistently engage with your audience is a good place to start when improving brand recognition. The great news is that you don’t need to be an Apple or Nike to get your branding right. Simply knowing where you stand and being willing to consult with a branding expert can help you get started.
3. Use strong and accessible visuals
Visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text, which is why images and graphics can convey complex messages or ideas more quickly and effectively than text alone.
Making strong images and visuals part of your social media and content strategy ensures that all content you create is impactful. Build the creation and implementation of high-quality, original, and brand-supporting images into your planning process.
Use visuals that are appropriate for a given channel and campaign. For example, infographics can be incorporated into social media campaigns while focusing on colors and fonts may be more appropriate for digital ads.
Make sure you consider accessibility when creating visual assets. That means keeping designs bold, but legible, to those who may have color vision deficiency or other vision challenges. Include alt text with all visual assets for people who use screen readers. Clean and consistent designs with well-coordinated colors, font sizes, and images make for better user experiences, conveying the clear message that you are a brand worth remembering.
4. Use graphics to enhance storytelling
Successful marketing is a matter of persuasion – a delicate balance between sharing your story and convincing your target audience that your story matters to them. It requires empathy and a deep understanding of what your users or customers need.
Robert McKee, a notable screenwriting luminary, said that stories “fulfill a profound human need to grasp the patterns of living—not merely as an intellectual exercise, but within a very personal, emotional experience.”
Visuals can help you tell a more compelling story since they add emotion and context to your content. Whether you’re sharing customer success stories or showcasing your products or services, graphics and images can help bring your story to life.
That’s why at Ashworth Creative, we often create integrated marketing campaigns for our clients that include video, digital ads, print ads, and landing pages that help create the emotional groundwork and context users need to connect with our client’s brands. Thereafter, it’s much more likely that our client’s target audience will “click to learn more”. Take a look at some of our work here.
5. Strong visuals + social media = magic
Visuals work on social media platforms because they’re highly shareable in a high-sharing environment. Both B2C and B2B businesses benefit from incorporating visuals into their social media posts and campaigns. Strong visuals tell your story in a powerful way and can inspire memorable interactions with social media users.
Social media also allows you to share and repurpose content for different audiences. For example, you may have accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. All of these platforms serve different audience demographics. Optimizing your content for each channel helps it resonate with users on a given platform and keeps your brand approach professional.
Your goals when using social channels should always include improving engagement and connection with potential customers. When people share your content on social media, they’re voting for your brand and recommending it to their own network, which helps attract new followers and customers.
Why partner with a design-focused marketing agency?
It takes a human touch – and considerable experience – to create and leverage imagery that builds brands and helps establish familiarity, trust, and loyalty. Our team understands the power of great design. We pair crisp visuals with content to create an emotional connection that effectively tells our clients’ stories.
This unique approach to design guarantees better experiences for your customers, drives engagement across all your campaigns, and moves your audience to act.
As a boutique marketing agency, we’re committed to working closely with local, national, and international clients. Located in the heart of Poughkeepsie, all our team members are experts at what they do across the industries we service including healthcare, higher education, and manufacturing. Call Ashworth Creative today at 845-877-0410 to discuss your next project.